Hertz Muscles in on Zipcar's Car-Sharing Turf

Service, to launch in NYC and elsewhere, is most direct competition yet from a big player
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2008 1:38 PM CST
Scott Griffith, CEO of Zipcar, outside the company's office in Cambridge, Mass., in this March 8, 2007, file photo.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Zipcar is about to get some competition, and it’s going to look familiar. Hertz is starting its own car-sharing business, which boldly apes Zipcar’s model, the Wall Street Journal reports. Customers of Connect by Hertz will be able to rent cars in New York, London, and Paris starting at $10 an hour after paying a $50 yearly membership fee—a deal essentially identical to Zipcar’s.

In a subtler nod to its rival, Hertz is loading its fleet with Mini Coopers, a car used heavily in Zipcar’s branding. It’s “even using some of the same terms” as Zipcar, said the president of a Toronto-based car sharer. But Zipcar doesn’t mind being imitated. Its CEO says Hertz’s plan is “a complete validation” of the market’s potential.